What Hilliman Brings to Rutgers

Doug Adkins - SOR Writer

Aug 16, 2013

By: Doug Adkins - SOR Writer


Rutgers Commitment Jonathan Hilliman

Rutgers Commitment Jonathan Hilliman

Rutgers continues their ascent up the recruiting ranks on their way to an historic recruiting class. Although there were a number of recruits who are committed to leave the state, this class has helped to build a fence around the state as the Rutgers staff continues to receive the commitments of some of the top New Jersey high school talent. 



Late Thursday afternoon, Rutgers received a verbal commitment from the state’s top running back and an ESPN Top 300 national player Jonathan Hilliman. His commitment comes on the heels of Saeed Blacknall’s announcement to attend the state university. Hilliman, like Blacknall, the state’s top wide receiver, are big-time commitments that can take the program to the next level of recruiting.


The St. Peter’s Prep product is a big running back that can fight for the tough yards, but at the same time has speed to turn the corner and leave defenders reaching for air.  Over the past several years, Rutgers hasn’t been able to attract a big back with speed and simple cutting ability who can play every down. Typically, Rutgers recruits the small explosive back that may not have the strength to get the tough yards on short-yardage situations that will be needed more regularly in Big 10 play.


Hilliman brings a combination of size and speed not seen on the banks since the days of Brian Leonard.  The new zone blocking scheme Rutgers has implemented should suit Hilliman’s skills perfectly.  Hilliman’s downhill/one-cut style of running will allow him to reach the second level defenders and punish them. Hilliman will keep the chains moving and just when you think he’s done, he’ll display the speed to get outside for a nice run that you might expect from a smaller back.


His commitment has the chance to lure more St. Peter’s Prep products to the Banks. The Jersey City (NJ) based school boasts two national recruits in their 2015 class in the form of quarterback Brandon Wimbrush and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick who both hold Rutgers in high regard.  Since the school produces a national recruit every two or three years, adding a player of Hilliman’s abilities and building a good relationship with the school could only help the Scarlet Knights’ chance to get more of the school’s products.


Overall, Hilliman adds depth to an already deep recruiting class, especially at running back. His size will blend nicely with the committed running backs Joshua Hicks and Robert Martin. The future for Hilliman is bright, but he might be a candidate to redshirt his first year at Rutgers. This will allow him to adjust to the college game and clear some of the upperclassmen backs from the roster.